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Polish MPs vote to expand help for firms hurt by virus

01.05.2020 08:00
Polish lawmakers have backed a plan to expand a massive relief and stimulus package of measures aiming to shield the economy from the coronavirus pandemic. 
The lower house of Polands parliament is in session on Thursday evening amid coronavirus precautions.
The lower house of Poland's parliament is in session on Thursday evening amid coronavirus precautions.Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

The planned new effort includes an injection of up to PLN 900 million (EUR 198 million, USD PLN 217 million) in new funds to support businesses through the state-run Industrial Development Agency.

The plan also includes financial support for rail and bus operators to help them weather the coronavirus crisis.

In addition, the legislation carries a new levy on online video-on-demand operators that would benefit the Polish Film Institute, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

The lower house of parliament on Thursday evening approved the planned new package in a 233-212 vote with 11 abstentions.

The measure, dubbed Anti-Crisis Shield 3.0, now goes to the Senate, the upper house of Poland's parliament, for further debate.

Poland’s president at the end of March signed into effect a multibillion relief and stimulus package aiming to shore up the economy and shield the nation from the impact of an intensifying coronavirus outbreak.

President Andrzej Duda last month signed into law a measure to offer further support to the nation’s economy amid the COVID-19 lockdown.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in early April unveiled plans to throw a lifeline of at least PLN 100 billion (USD 24 billion, EUR 22 billion) to businesses hit by the coronavirus epidemic.

Deputy Prime Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz said last week the government in Warsaw was readying a fresh package of measures to protect jobs and “keep the pulse of the economy going” amid the disruption.

The EU executive said on Monday it had approved a Polish plan to offer EUR 16.6 billion “in the form of repayable advances” for companies hit by the coronavirus.

A total of 12,877 people have tested positive for the COVID-19 disease in Poland, with 644 deaths from the coronavirus so far, public health officials said on Thursday afternoon.


Source: IAR, PAP